The biggest component of our life lately has been Mark's mom's health. To those of you who have praying for her throughout this ordeal, thank you! I know this is kind of lengthy...it's a synopsis of events that Mark's brother David wrote as a prayer update, so I just edited it a bit to post. If you don't want to read the whole thing, know that mom is doing well, but has a long road of recovery ahead of her.
Mom had chest pains on Monday, and went to the ER at Indiana Co. Hospital where they decided to admit her. She had an EKG which, when compared to an earlier one, showed some differences which caused concern. The decision was made Mon. evening to transfer her to Shadyside (outside of Pittsburgh) and to schedule a heart catheterization for the next morning (Tues). At this point, she was in good spirits, and feeling fairly well; this was just a 'simple' heart catheterization.
Since she had come in Mon. night, she was an 'add-on', meaning that we didn't know when she would fit into the schedule.
They took her to have the heart cath. done a little after 10 am. Apparently, shortly after they started the catheterization, they saw the tear in the artery, and started prepping her for emergency bypass surgery. On the way to surgery, she went into cardiac arrest; they were able to re-start her heart after about a minute.
Surgery lasted about 6 hours. Unfortunately, Dad had to wait throughout alone, as Pittsburgh was being hit by a horrible blizzard.
The surgery was successful as far as they could tell, but the concern was for how long she had been out when she went into cardiac arrest.
Typically, they 'reverse' the anesthesia, so the patient will wake up fairly quickly, in my mother's case, they did not 'reverse' it, so it would be much longer before she came out of it. She was on a ventilator and lots of tubes in the Cardio-Thoracic ICU. Our main concern at this point was whether she would wake up at all. To quote the surgeon regarding the cardiac arrest she experienced, “We won’t know the extent of the damage until, or if, she wakes up.” Needless to say, this news really threw us all into a tailspin, as it was quite unexpected.
God heard the prayers of so many that were praying (THANK YOU!), and answered them graciously: Mom began to respond late Tues. night, and by Wed. morning, she was off the ventilator, awake and alert. We Praise God! She moved out of ICU Thurs. She’s been doing quite well, all things considered, and feels like she’s recovering more quickly than she did when she had her heart attack/triple bypass almost 10 years ago.
Tom and Jenny were able to come from Lancaster to visit for 2 days, and David and Sue, being near Pittsburgh, were able to be at the hospital quite a bit. She was scheduled to be discharged on Sunday, but they put that off another day or two. Then she will go back into cardio-rehab and start that process again.
As those close to her know, after her last attack/surgery, she never regained her full energy and stamina. The amazing thing about this situation is that because she had the heart attack and bypass, part of her heart that has simply not been functioning well, if at all, will actually be working properly, and she should have more energy than she has had in years. God is good!